Getting diagnosed with breast cancer (or any type of cancer) sounds like it would be scary and traumatic. According to Cancer.org, women are 100 percent more likely to get breast cancer than men. Doing our monthly self-breast exam is a great step to preventing a more developed stage of breast cancer, but we of course all want more prevention tips, too. Researchers just found some encouraging news that yes, there is a new way to prevent the disease: Exercise.
Before you start the eye rolls and the, “yeah, of course exercise is good for you, #duh,” pay attention. Researchers found that active women — even obese women so long as they’re active — can reduce their breast cancer risk by up to 12 percent. Researchers in France looked at studies of women who participated in breast cancer studies from 1987 to 2013 and found that women who were active reduced their risk for breast cancer. So what does “active” mean, exactly?
According to the study results, women who got an hour or more a day of vigorous activity (like jogging, biking or swimming) lowered their breast cancer risk the most. The more activity the better, but something is better than nothing (it usually is, right?). The lower risk happened for various women.
“The decrease is the same whatever the country, age, or menopausal status,” Research Director at the Strathclyde Institute for Global Public Health in Lyon, France, Mathieu Boniol explains. “It’s very good news.” The study also finds that you can be “active” in any way: At work, playing a sport or just through daily living. This means that if your lifestyle allows for you to be active (like riding your bike to and from work), you’re helping decrease your breast cancer risk. If you don’t have the chance to be active throughout your daily routine, make time in your day to do an hour of something you enjoy. “It’s a very cheap way to do prevention of breast cancer,” Mathieu says.
Cancer is so scary — and there is a lot of speculation about what actually causes or prevents cancer. This news makes us so happy: There’s finally tangible evidence that we can reduce our breast cancer risk with exercise. And let’s be serious: We should all be doing it anyway.
Does this news make you want to start exercising more?